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  1. #1
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    2013 Madone 5.9 or 6.5 - please help

    Iím debating between the 2013 Madone 6.5 and the 5.9 and yes, I know the 6.5 is betterÖbut how much? I donít know. Is it worth the extra money? Iíve only ridden Specialized road bikes but Iím in the market for a new road bike and I rode my friendís 5.9 (older model) and I really liked it, even more than the 2013 SL4. Iíve read every possible review I can find and Iíve yet to find a thorough review that really breaks down the ride difference between the 5 series and 6 series. Sure, on paper the 6 series is better and made in the USA but does any of it transfer to something that you or I would notice on the bike or would it take a high tech machine and an extensive algorithm to decipher? In order for me to get the 5.9 Iíd be stretching my current budget to the max but after talking to the guy at the LBS (who by the way is no roadie) heís really pushing me to the 6 series, throwing all the marketing hype at me, which may be true, and making me feel like I would have sleepless nights, regretting the 5 over the 6. I know, I knowÖĒtry both and see what you likeĒ, people say that as if itís just so easy, like these shops just want to give you the bike for a day, assuming they have your size. IF they have your size they want to charge a rental cost, one for the 5 and another for the 6 and then if you donít buy the bike from them the money is gone and my budget it tight enough as it is. I can ride them around the parking lot but it just doesnít tell me much. I rode the 2013 Tarmac SL4 around the lot and thought I really liked it then I got a chance to take it for a day and realized it didnít feel all that different than my Roubiax. So Iím reaching out to you guys, and girls, if youíve had a chance to ride the 2013 5 and 6 series MadoneísÖreally ride them, could you chime in? Even if you bought the 6 because itís a 6 and 6 is better than 5, can you tell an $800-$1000 difference? Would you say itís worth it to find the money or rob a bank to get the 6 over the 5?

    Thanks,
    James

  2. #2
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    If you can't tell the difference from Tarmac to Roubaix than get the 5.

  3. #3
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    I didn't say I couldn't tell the difference between a Tarmac and a Roubaix just that the difference wasn't all that significant in my opinion.

  4. #4
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    I don't own a 2013 but I will comment.
    He's a sales guy right and he's doing his job well!
    They are nearly identical in spec ... geometry, design, fork, components. The only difference from what I saw was the grade of carbon, Made in the USA and the wheels. Don't get me wrong these influenced my decision to get a 6 series last year but there wasn't the kind of spread in pricing. And there was a big difference in components, geometry (H1 vs H2), wheels, P1 process ...
    The 5 series is a good bike and a smart buy. My older 5 series was a huge step over my previous rides, the new 6 series was a much smaller step. For me it's not worth the difference in sticker if you are stretching to get the 5.9 already, these bikes are close, spend the difference on a 2nd set of wheels if you need to spend the money.
    Parking lot rides and retals aren't worth it, you need to live with it.
    Just so you know, time the purchase right and you can get a good deal.


    2012 Trek Madone 6 SSL - SRAM Red
    2009 Trek Madone 5 - SRAM Force
    2000 Cannondale CAAD4 - Campy Chorus
    1997 Colnago Tecnos - Campy Record Ti 9
    1998 Ciocc DR03 - Campy Chorus <retired>

  5. #5
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    S2k552m - thanks for the input. I've got a nice set of DA road wheels I would put on either bike, the stock ones are just for the trainer. If I go with P1 and lower the wheels down the price difference is just over $700 from my local shop "deal".

  6. #6
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    My golden rule for comparing bikes is to ride them. I am in the same boat as I am considering getting a 6 Series Project 1 frame or a 5.9 Frameset for my next build, but I won't settle on anything (even getting a Madone at all) until I take the current model year out on the road. This bike has been changed significantly from the previous years. I say try it and then commit.

  7. #7
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    $700 for american made, higher grade of carbon (which is most likely not significant) and a different paint job. Not saying it's not worth it for sure, I went 6 series P1 when I was in your situation. So budget or emotion?

    Test rides for me aren't worth it, bikes, cars, anything. Bike fit and feel and behavior is so unique and takes time to really appreciate, especially if you've been riding the same thing for years on end, it took me over a month to really dial in my 6, get comfortable with ride/handling and really start pushing to the point where I said wow. Now I am thrilled, not quite the same feeling after my first few rides. Not saying not to do a test ride, I just question the real value of a one off.

  8. #8
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    While I agree with most of the analysis above, there's no way that I would buy a bike (especially one this expensive) without a test ride and a proper fit session with a pro. They might not be perfect, but, to me, the alternative is much worse. That might just be my preference/perception though. The middle ground might be to test a bike multiple times or to find a shop that would let you keep it for a couple of days or so (we have those in Oregon, not sure how popular they are elsewhere).

  9. #9
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    Rash, don't get me wrong, you are totally right, before buying any bike you better spend a good amount of time in that shop. Not only to ensure the fit is spot on but also to ensure the shop is willing to work with you - if they're not willing or capable when you're buying imagine life afterwards. For me when I got my 6, I spent 5.5 hrs trying 3 different frames, with a veriety of stem lengths, handlebars, seat adjustments - they gave me total freedom to try anything and worked with me - before I even put a deposit down. When I left I felt very good with the fit and knew it was a matter of only fine tuning and I was working with a good shop. So I totally agree. I guess I am a little cynical when people make broad statements about a bike or frame after 10miles. Either way, it's all good --- good luck to you also in your purchase and keep us posted.
    Good luck also to the OP ...

  10. #10
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    I had a chance the to get a few days on a 2012 Madone 5.9 and a 2013 Tarmac Expert SL4. Iíve had a Retul fit on all my bikes and I matched my measurements on these demo bikes. I did back to back rides on the same route that included some flat, a sustained in the saddle climb, a steep in/out of the saddle climb and a twisty decent. I realize this isnít the 2013 Madone which is what Iím more interested in but I have to assume that itís pretty close on feel. The Madone definitely felt more compliant over the mild bumps in the road on the flat and gradual climbs which I thought would translate to a more ďnoodlyĒ experience out of the saddle but it wasnít at all. It felt very laterally stiff and the power transfer felt more direct than on the Tamac (remember, this is just MY impression). Both bikes felt fast and climbed great but I felt like the Madone was getting the power from my legs to the ground in a more direct and uninhibited fashion, especial out of the saddle and when fatigue would set in and some form was lost. The biggest different I felt with the bikes was the Tarmac felt like I was pushing it up the hill and the Madone felt like I was pulling it up the hill. I donít know that oneís better than the other, just a different feel depending on what you prefer. They both descended beautifully, held their lines well, and rolled from side to side in a very stable and controlled manner. When I dropped off the Madone I explained to rep about the push/pull experience, which I thought might sound weird to him, but he said heís got similar feedback from people and that the push vs pull ďfeelingĒ comes from the fork design which makes the front (3rd) virtual triangle. He agreed, oneís not better than the other, itís more about a riders preference and how they ďwant the bike to talk to themĒ. So after testing both Iíve decided to go with the MadoneÖnow the hard part (which was my first question) save $700 and go with the 5.9 or sleep soundly at night and go with the 6 series. Oh, and by the way, I put my saddle and my DA wheels on both bikes to give a more level playing field.

  11. #11
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    I just rode my new 6.5 with the Campy Super Record EPS. Very nice and tehre is no doubt, I am glad it went with the six series. I have not been on a 5.9 so I can't compare the two. I can only tell you that you won't regret going with the six series. If you don't order the new Dura Ace 9070 on it, it won't take long to get it (DA delivery is now pushed back to Thanksgiving). Once I switched from the new DA to the Campy due to the repeated setbacks in delivery, I got my bike in 7 days as the frame was done already (ordered in June).

  12. #12
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    Six series!

  13. #13
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    Rode a 5 and 6 series bike. I went with the 5 series. I could not tell a difference between the two. The carbon differences have really narrowed and is weight is negligible on the 2013 model. Money saved is going towards a Dura-Ace 7900 group. I love the bike

  14. #14
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    Frisbie,

    I am set on a new Madone if the test goes well. Your comments really intrigue me because I am having a hard time ignoring the $2500 price tag for the 5.9 frame. I could save like $1,000-$1500 by going with that instead of 6 Series (Project 1 because I don't like the blue) frame. I would really love to hear more details on the difference between the two frames man. What wheels were on them, etc. How much of a difference was the weight actually, etc.? Thanks for the insight!!

  15. #15
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    I could not tell you the exact weight. Side by side and riding them, I could not tell the difference between the 5.2 and 6.2. I went with the 5 since I already had Easton Wheels I like and I have a new set of Dura Ace 7900 Derailleurs I am going to put on it once I get a set of shifters. Talking with my LBS, the quality of the 5 series bikes has improved quite a bit over the last 12-24 months. The bid difference between the two these days is the Made in Wisconsin Stickers. In my opinion. I wish I could strip down both bikes and compare the frame sets on a scale. Just not an option. At the bike shop all I had was feel of them side by side and in the saddle. To me they are identical. I could not tell the difference. So I went with the 5. My bike came with Bontrager Race wheels. I think the 6.2 had race lites. I did not pay much attention since I have eastons. I am keeping the bontrager's for use on my rollers to save my Ultermo tires for the road. Let me know if you have other questions.
    2013 Trek Madone 5. Dura Ace 7900, Custom ZIPP 303/404 with Chris King Ceramic hubs.

  16. #16
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    Rash.... I am an Oregon Kid as well. I am currently in the DC area but raised in Eugene. College at Portland State. Own a home in Vancouver Wa that we rent out. Staying up late every Saturday to watch my Ducks play. lol. Just saw your post about being from Oregon. ;-)
    2013 Trek Madone 5. Dura Ace 7900, Custom ZIPP 303/404 with Chris King Ceramic hubs.

  17. #17
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    I am pretty much in the same boat. I have a set of Zipp 101s that I love and I am hoping to get a set of the new 202 Firecrest down the road. I am really only interested in a frameset because I plan on moving to a set of the new 2012 Sram Red or Ultegra Di2 components for the Madone (if I like the way it rides). I currently ride a Cervelo R3 (also a ton of fun) with a Sram Force & Rival mix of components that keeps me more than happy. Certain elements about the new Madone (integration, room fro 25mm tires, looks & weight) just intrigue me more. I also plan to use a Rotor 3D crank on the Madone (I have a 3D+ on my R3 and can't imagine using anything else), so buying a frameset is the only thing that makes sense for me really. That being the case, if the frames weigh pretty much the same (which is what I have heard elsewhere), then it only makes since to go with the 5.9 and use the money saved on the other compeonents I plan on adding to the build. Thank you for the honest feedback man, it is really helpful.

  18. #18
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    No problem man. You can't go wrong with either in my opinion. Both the 5 series and 6 series frames are great bikes. The one difference that may be worth it to me is that the 6 series is available in both H1 and H2 fit. I am not a racer and wanted a more comfortable H2 fit. So it was a no brainer. Both of the bikes I rode were the H2. I did not ride an H1 frame. Just wanted to point that out. Good luck with your decision.
    2013 Trek Madone 5. Dura Ace 7900, Custom ZIPP 303/404 with Chris King Ceramic hubs.

  19. #19
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    I am more of group ride, gran fondo, century guy myself, so H1 isn't a necessity. Given the miles I pull, I would probably prefer the H2 anyway. Weight is a more serious concern, however, because there is lots of climbing to be had in Oregon, where I now live. I would love to see a review like this on the 5 Sereis. Please let me know if you come across one (or hey, maybe you should do one yourself!! )

    Review: Trek Madone 6 Series 2013 - Custom build | road.cc | Road cycling news, Bike reviews, Commuting, Leisure riding, Sportives and more

  20. #20
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    Frisbie, what's even more hilarious about your last post (which is showing up on my phone, but not in here for some reason) is that in May, we moved out here, from guess where? You got, the D.C. metro area.... Crazy how small the world is.

  21. #21
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    That is funny. We move here in June.
    2013 Trek Madone 5. Dura Ace 7900, Custom ZIPP 303/404 with Chris King Ceramic hubs.

  22. #22
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    Pics please of the new bikes when available!

    Rash, would be interested in hearing about the 202FC if/when you get them.

  23. #23
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    $1600 difference for maybe 200 grams frame weight difference, and probably not even that much. No way.

  24. #24
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    I agree. I have the 5 series frame. Went with the 5.2 since I am going Dura-Ace 7900 anyways. I have a new group missing shifters to go on it as soon as I can pick them up. Not that interested in going digital. For the money... 5.2 and Dura-ace I have is cheaper. You are right on the 1600 for grams. not worth it. Go 5 series.
    2013 Trek Madone 5. Dura Ace 7900, Custom ZIPP 303/404 with Chris King Ceramic hubs.

  25. #25
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    I think the price difference is only justified if you need the customization. I went with a 6.5 with Sram Red, H1 and a few other changes.

    The 5.2 was a much better deal, but I felt like I'd have to compromise too much with the Ultegra groupset, H2 fit, and other details such as stem length and handlebar choice that I was picky about.

    Will post pictures once I build mine - should be here on Friday! Yay.

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